CASE STUDY :
Launching the BMW Z3 Roadster
BMW, a German automobile manufacturer, known for its German engineering and quality, had established itself as a strong brand in the luxury/performance segment in U.S.A. However due to increasing competition from car makers such as infinity, Lexus, Acura, its sales dropped during the period mid 80’s to late 90’s .
The case deals with the launch, of the now infamous BMW Z3 roadster, a car that revolutionized and rejuvenated the boring American motor industry back in the mid 1990's. The case talks about the successful first phase launch of this new drop top beauty. It focuses on the customers and how they suddenly picked up the marketing cues and stories depicted by the various promotional parties that were led by James McDowell, BMW's marketing vice president. This was a marketing campaign that gained a lot of merit and success by using unconventional promotion methods to put their product out into the public. The primary methods tried to stay away from the usual billboards and print media. Rather, the marketing teams decided to take the car into the new world of cinema and multimedia, where sound, sight, video and technology would promote the car during a time of accelerated IT growth. The team at BMW decided that since the Z3 was a new unconventional' car, it also required equal unconventional marketing methods to match its identity. The BMW Z3 was a lifestyle car and what better way to put this idea forward than by releasing it alongside the passionate and stylish gadget man himself, 007 James Bond; exposed through the new technological gateways of the internet and the movies. This paper will try and look deeper into this case of BMW's successful Z3 launch and whether or not they will be able to match the enthusiasm in the second phase of the vehicle's launch.
To expand the BMW franchise and further rejuvenate the BMW brand by positioning the Z3 squarely in American culture and settling into the hearts and minds of the American public
* To devise a marketing program that would sustain product excitement which is generated through word of mouth BMW Z3 and James bond association until the product is available at dealer stores.
* Expansion of market share and pushing the sales of BMW in US market.
* Making BMW as a Global brand (Made in Germany to Made by BMW)
* To use the roadster to motivate and stimulate the dealer network to meet higher standards to qualify for the roadster.
* To build an order to enable the new Spartanburg plant to build the specifications of BMW customers.
TIMELINE OF KEY EVENTS
STRENGTH | WEAKNESS |
* BMW is not the biggest but the best car company in the world. * Increase in Sales: Their franchise expansion seems to be more promising way to increment sales. * Influences consumers strongly through media and film industry. * Innovative and Impactful. | * Their corporate image is too serious and tradition-bound. * Plan Execution was complicated. * Z3 was perceived to be German made car not an American made car. |
OPPORTUNITY | THREAT |
* Build on strong buzz and success of phase 1 of marketing. * Expansion of market share and pushing the sales of BMW in US market * Making BMW as a Global brand * Re-launch of redesigned 5S * Official Automotive Sponsor of 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics | * Competition from Mercedes. * People not accepting a German car in US. * The partners or sub- partners may turn into rivals. * Government regulations |
SWOT ANALYSIS OF BMW Z3 ROADSTER
ANSWERS TO CASE STUDY QUESTIONS
Q.1 What is the strategic significance of the launch of Z3?
Ans: Non Traditional Marketing
1.) To blend car into an American individual and change their mindset about BMW
2.) To create huge buzz on people's daily events and to get car on people's conversational agenda
3.) Leverage another brand to promote own brand (BMW Z3)
4.) Leveraging the uproar in the